When life gives you limes, make lime-ade, right? Or how about a Lime Meringue Pie?
At my folks’ house, after Christmas, we still were in the mood for full-on meals, and what’s a beautiful meal without a beautiful dessert to go with it? 🙂 We had some limes in the fridge, and originally I was going to make a key lime pie. But it turns out, all the recipes I found called for sweetened condensed milk, which 1) we didn’t have, and 2) has soooo much sugar. So I made the executive decision to modify the recipe for lemon meringue instead.
Pulling out my trusty cooking bible (aka, The Joy of Cooking) and got to work. Here’s what we did:
What you need:
For the pie:
1 baked pie shell
1 cup agave nectar (subbed for sugar)
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 tbsp lime zest (subbed for lemon zest)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3-4 large limes) (subbed for lemon juice)
3 egg yolks, beaten (reserve the whites)
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. (The oven step is for the meringue)
In a large saucepan, mix together the agave, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly stir in the 1/2 cup cold water and the 1/2 cup lime juice. Next whisk in the beaten egg yolks and the butter (I just put the butter in solid). When well incorporated, slowly pour in the boiling water, whisking all the time. Put the mixture on med-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring gently. It will begin to thicken after a minute or two (you’ll be able to feel & see it). Reduce the heat to low and simmer for an additional minute, stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in lime zest. Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whip your egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar. Whip this mixture until the whites form stiff peaks (but don’t over whip them). Beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time, then the vanilla until all combined.
Spread the meringue over the pie, really working it on so there aren’t gaps between the lime filling and the meringue. You can do fun decorative effects to the top of the meringue if you like.
Pop the pie in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top has browned slightly. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.